Sir Lewis Hamilton may have only signed a one-year contract with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, but that does not mean the seven-time formula 1 Drivers' world champion will be walking away from the sport anytime soon.

On Thursday, the British racing driver confirmed that he intends to stay and race in the new era of F1 that gets underway in 2022. Hamilton revealed his intentions during Thursday's pre-race press conference at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.

The all-time record F1 race winner was speaking about the recent test he did for Pirelli, which involved testing the new 18 inch wheels that will be on next year's car. Hamilton is not known to volunteer for tests, but admitted that he wanted to get a feel for the new rubber while also wanting to help the Italian tyre manufacture develop a product.

"Well firstly I don't ever volunteer for test days and it's probably one of the first ones I have volunteered for, so I immediately regretted it when I woke up in the morning on the day," Hamilton joked, as quoted by F1 official website.

"I was like, 'dammit!' But no honestly, firstly it was at a really great track to test at, so I enjoyed the day and the weather was good. And I plan to be here next year and I want to help Pirelli and help lead towards them having a better product."

The tyres have always been a constant point of debate among the drivers and the manufacturer. The complaint has always been about them not being allowed to push the limits to the maximum for the entire race without compromising their race.

Hamilton is keen to provide Pirelli with a starting point from which they can go on to develop a tyre that will give the drivers "better mechanical grip and less degradation".

"It's something that the drivers all have wished for I think - better performance - and so it was important for me to gauge where the starting point is and what differences I can help with. So from a driver point of view we have more mechanical grip, less degradation... So I think it was a good test and obviously it was the first step with the tyres but it definitely wasn't a bad place to start," the Briton added.

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was recently crowned world champion for a seventh time